People First HR Services

First jobs provide lasting career lessons

Colleen Coates

It’s been said that your first job is a lot like your first love. Not only does it usually occur at a point in life when we are young, idealistic and still unaffected by cynicism, time magically smoothes over any rough, unpleasant edges so that we fondly remember only the good things about it.

Even if that first job was as menial, repetitive or altogether unpleasant as possible, there actually were plenty of things worth the misty, water-coloured memory space. Whether our bright-eyed selves realized it or not, that first foray into the working world was a valuable learning experience that laid the foundation for future career success. In fact, many of the lessons you learned back then are still subconsciously applied to the position you hold today.

Jim August of Forks North Portage Partnership on building a diverse organization

John McFerran

Jim August relishes the opportunity to promote Winnipeg whenever and wherever he can. In fact, the CEO of The Forks North Portage Partnership has been talking up his organization’s mandate to “contribute to making Winnipeg’s downtown a better place to live, work and play,” and people around the world are taking notice.

“I’m a member of The Waterfront Center (an international, non-profit urban planning organization focused on enhancing communities’ waterfront resources), and recently did a presentation to the group on our winter river trail, with its skating and its warming huts. It blew them away, mainly because most had never seen ice on a river before,” August says with a laugh. “But they were very impressed by what Winnipeg is capable of doing despite our climate.”

Firms need to develop talented female managers

Colleen Coates

Men are still more than twice as likely to hold a senior management position as their female colleagues — a ratio that has not changed much within the past two decades despite the fact that women have made tremendous progress. Those who have achieved a greater gender balance in senior management ranks are to be applauded.

According to a 2009 report from the Conference Board of Canada, women make up almost 48 per cent of the talent pool and yet, only 0.32 per cent hold executive positions. It’s concerning that women are still significantly underrepresented in the upper echelon of the workforce. Although most organizations say they support diversity and the development of future leaders, women in top leadership roles seem to still be the exception, not the rule.